March 2018 Kabul suicide bombing

Coordinates: 34°31′06″N 69°07′37″E / 34.51833°N 69.12694°E / 34.51833; 69.12694
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March 2018 Kabul suicide bombing
Part of the War in Afghanistan
Blast site is located in Kabul
Blast site
Blast site
Blast site (Kabul)
Blast site is located in Afghanistan
Blast site
Blast site
Blast site (Afghanistan)
LocationKabul, Afghanistan
Coordinates34°31′06″N 69°07′37″E / 34.51833°N 69.12694°E / 34.51833; 69.12694
DateMarch 21, 2018
12:00 PM (UTC+4:30)
TargetShia Muslims
Attack type
Suicide bombing
Deaths33 (+1 attacker)
PerpetratorsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant
MotiveSunni fundamentalism

A suicide bombing occurred on 21 March 2018 around 12:00 PM (7:30 AM UTC) in Kabul near Kart-e Sakhi,[1] a Shia shrine.[2][3][4] At least 33 people were killed with more than 65 wounded in the bombing.[4] The militant group ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack.[5][6][7][8]


Kabul had been on alert for attacks during Nowruz, the Persian New Year. The attack took place at the Sakhi shrine, a frequented location during the occasion.[9] The shrine has been the target of previous attacks; in October 2016, 14 people were killed during the festival of Ashura, and 11 people had been killed in a bombing in 2011.[1] A spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of the Interior stated that the attacker approached the shrine on foot who was then prevented from getting closer to the shrine due to police checkpoints and when he was identified by the police, he detonated the explosives he was carrying among a group of passersby.[1][5][10] At least 33 people were killed in the bombing, while injuring more than 65, according to a statement from a spokesperson for the Ministry for Public Health.[4]


The Amaq News Agency, the unofficial mouthpiece of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the group,[1][8] saying that the attacks specifically targeted Shiites celebrating Nowruz.[5] ISIL has repeatedly targeted Shia Muslims, who form a minority of 15% in Afghanistan, over the past few years.[1]


The spokesman for Kabul's police force said that an investigation had been launched into the bombing.[4] Survivors claimed about 20 were lightly injured as well.[10]


Shortly after the attack, Afghanistan's National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar was interviewed about the country's strategy to combat extremism by German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, who condemned the attack and highlighted that the West and the country share "a common threat".[11] The Indian Ministry of External Affairs condemned the "inhumane and barbaric" attack, and offered to provide any required assistance to Afghanistan.[12] Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan strongly condemned the suicide bombing and called the attacks "unjustifiable". The US ambassador to Afghanistan, John R. Bass also condemned the attack in a statement stating "...[he] was deeply saddened by the shameful attack near Kabul University today, at the start of the new year."[10]

The Prime Minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in a meeting with Afghan ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal, condemned the blast and expressed grief at the loss of lives.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Kabul Sakhi shrine: 'Dozens dead' in New Year attack". BBC News. March 22, 2018.
  2. ^ Nelson, Craig (March 21, 2018). "Suicide Bomber, in Crowd of New Year Pilgrims, Kills Dozens in Kabul". The Wall Street Journal.
  3. ^ "At least 26 killed in suicide bomb near Shia shrine in Kabul, ISIS claims attack". Hindustan Times. March 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Barakzai, Navid Ahmad (21 March 2018). "33 people killed, 65 wounded in Kabul suicide blast". Retrieved 2018-03-23.
  5. ^ a b c Shalizi, Hamid; Hassib, Sayed (March 21, 2018). "Suicide bomber kills at least 29 near shrine in Afghan capital". Reuters.
  6. ^ "Dozens killed in suicide attack near Kabul shrine". France24. March 21, 2018.
  7. ^ Hassan, Sharif; Constable, Pamela (March 21, 2018). "'We suffer more': Rising violence on Shiite targets takes toll on Afghanistan's Hazaras". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ a b Faizi, Fatima; Nordland, Rod (March 21, 2018). "Kabul Bombing Kills 29 in Holiday Crowd, Officials Say". New York Times.
  9. ^ "Kabul blast: ISIS Suicide bomber kills 28 near shrine; top 10 developments". Business Standard. March 21, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c TOLOnews, TOLOnews. "UN Condemns Kabul Bombing as Death Toll Rises to 32 | TOLOnews". TOLOnews. TOLOnews. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  11. ^ Hasrat-Nazimi, Waslat. "Kabul bombing: Afghanistan and the West 'share a common threat' | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 22.03.2018". DW.COM. Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 23 March 2018.
  12. ^ "India condemns 'barbaric' terrorist attack in Kabul - Times of India". The Times of India. 21 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  13. ^ "PM Abbasi condemns Kabul bombing, reiterates Pakistan's support for Afghanistan". Dawn. March 21, 2018. Retrieved 24 March 2018.